Friday, November 04, 2005

Some Good Movies and also a Remark about Real Time

Well, one good movie is The Cooler, which is a delightfully lurid Vegas casino story. Like many movies about Vegas it leans pretty heavily on luck and gambling metaphors. This really doesn’t bother me since Las Vegas, like South Africa, seems to be a land without need of metaphor. William H. Macy gives a performance with no errors as Bernie, a man whose portion of ill luck is so generous that it literally overflows. Alec Baldwin, an apoplectically evil casino owner, employs Macy – he also pays off a cocktail waitress (the accurately-named Maria Bello) to seduce Macy to keep him onboard. Also, Burger from Sex and the City hangs around representing the casino’s new-school investors, who disapprove of some of Baldwin’s business practices (like breaking people’s shins with a specialized shin-breaking maul, and also kicking pregnant women). Until you’ve seen Alec Baldwin foaming at the mouth opposite William H. Macy’s characteristic reserve, and until you’ve seen Maria Bello doing pretty much whatever she likes, you haven’t seen this movie. Which is very good.

Another good movie is Dummy, which is not quite as serious as The Cooler, nor as entirely successful, but has many things going for it, such as being hella funny and featuring Adrian Brody. Adrian Brody plays a ventriloquist (and does all his own ventriloquism: piano playing, pickle-juice drinking, ventriloquism: he’s a triple threat!), Mila Jovovich plays a punk who calls herself Fangora (perfectly, even better than her role in Resident Evil), and Arrested Development’s Jessica Walter plays Adrian Brody’s mother. The plot is insubstantial but sweet, but the best scenes belong to Brody and Jovovich. Although you may doubt her acting credentials Jovovich proves that her range extends beyond shaving the side of her head and fighting the Umbrella corporation – she’s believable, compelling and subtle as an American punk. Dummy ultimately doesn’t hold together and the end is a little disappointing, but if you don’t expect The House of Mirth then you will be delighted. If you do expect The House of Mirth then you should probably just watch that, yo, although the Gillian Anderson version was basically incomprehensible to me.

Also, I’ve been watching Real Time with Bill Maher while writing this and Joe Scarborough just a) implied that waterboarding wasn’t really bad enough to be considered torture (what, pray, should we consider it? A schoolboy jape?) and b) screamed and yelled at the ex-president of Ireland when she implied that if the US wanted to set an example of freedom, it should let UN inspectors into to our Global Coercive Questioning Resort Centers.

1 comment:

Boots said...

OMG you know what's another good movie? METROPOLIS! And we're watching it this week. I so cannot wait at alllllllll....